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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  December 27, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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good evening. diane is off tonight with her family. just as millions of american families are in the path of yet another major storm this evening. it comes on the heels of that powerful system that already slammed the nation's heartland. and then the northeast, with record snowfalls. and now, at least 15 deaths. and tonight, this new storm will dump even more snow on areas already buried under a foot or more. with the potential to grow into a powerful nor'easter with blizzard conditions in parts of new england. already snowfall records have been shattered in many cities tonight. among them, indianapolis, little rock, who got the most christmas snow since 1926.
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and that's where we begin here tonight, with abc's john schriffen leading us off. >> reporter: whiteout conditions in ohio. power lines snapped like twigs in arkansas. and this pickup truck in southern illinois, struggling just to clear a path. the winter blast, now accounting for 15 deaths. most of them on the nation's roads, where black ice led to accident after accident. >> i lost count of the number of cars i've seen in the ditch. i saw a jackknifed tractor trailer a horse trailer turned over. >> reporter: today, the northeast was digging out. this man spent hours trying to rescue his car here in s what is it like deeming with this much snow? >> a lot of agony. a lot of back breaking. >> reporter: mother nature is wreaking havoc in the skies. today alone, close to 700 flights were canceled. in the past 48 hours? nearly 3,000. on new york's long island, this southwest airlines plane skidded off the run way, getting stuck
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in the mud. 129 passengers evacuated safely. >> tower southwest 4695. we just made your day very exciting, at least ours is going to be. we just tack sied off into the grass. >> reporter: right outside the snow zone, be you still in nature's path, seabright, new jersey. today, the streets flooded again. and back here in syracuse, crews have cleared many of the main roads, moving these mountains of snow, but tonight, the fear, as the temperature drops, the slush turns to ice, making travel even more difficult. authorities say if you don't have to be out here, stay home. david? >> john schriffen leading us off tonight in syracuse, new york. i want to bring in the chief meteorologist harvey leonard. you were telling us, another big part of the story, the snow and the rain and the winds there in new england. >> great to be working with you,
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david. i got to tell you, the winds gusted to hurricane force along the coast of massachusetts, in addition, rainfall, two and three inches localized flooding. and the wind caused problems at high tide. fortunately, the tides were low. if they were high, it would have been a lot of coastal flooding and damage. >> and harvey, as this system moves off, we've got another one right on our doob step. >> yeah, that one is going to develop in the gulf, pick up a little bit of moisture, start to move northeast. saturday is the day that all the major cities in the northeast from washington to boston will be affected. most likely a couple of inches of snow. because i don't think the storm will really explode until it is well off the coast. but if it intensifies more quickly, those amounts could be higher. we have to watch that very carefully. >> we know you'll be watching it. harvey leonard, thank you. we're going to turn to the other part of the country cleaning up after this massive system. nearly three dozen reported twisters and now the aftermath. and a new portrait tonight of what it was like when those
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tornadoes barrelled through. here's abc's matt gutman tonight. >> reporter: this surveillance video from a walgreens here in mobile showing the very guts of a tornado. the wind first blasts around debris. the lightning flashes, blinding. then the darkening funnel, dense with debris, beginning sucking in cars, lifting them up, slamming them down. inside, those perhaps doing some christmas shopping, at first curious. this man in uniform poking his head outside. a woman peering around a cash register. a man wheeling his cart towards the door. then the sprint for safety. miraculously, no one seriously hurt here or in centerville, mississippi. >> it's right over us! get inside! oh, it's coming to. >> reporter: where a three-mile long twister ripped through trees and houses. stretching from texas to the carolinas, reportedly more than three dozen tornadoes with about 400 homes damaged or destroyed in alabama alone. and tonight, the south taking down the condemned and trying to salvage what it can.
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they are boarding up at mobile's historic murphy high school, but not closing down. matt gutman, abc news, mobile, alabama. >> our thanks to matt tonight. we turn to the economy now, and to the growing storm breeing in washington. after senate majority leader harry reid warned today that the government could per happen goes of that fiscal cliff. now, just five days until everyone's taxes go up in this country, how much for the average american family? here's our chief white house correspondent jon karl tonight. >> reporter: president obama cut short his hawaii vacation, running back to washington, where storm clouds, real storm clouds, are gathering over the capitol. instead of deal making, it's name calling. the top democrat in the senate, accusing the republican speaker of the house of running a dictatorship. they say they haven't given up, but it sure sounds that way. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> here we are, once again, at the end of the year, staring at a crisis we should have dealt with literally months ago. >> reporter: vice president biden made a rare appearance in
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the senate, not to negotiate -- >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> reporter: but to swear in a new democratic senator from hawaii. a vote the white house will need if the senate ever gets around to voting on a plan to avert the fiscal cliff. in the house, even less going on. the only hopeful words, from the house chaplain, looking for some divine help. >> as this chamber lies silent, still, we pray for hope. >> reporter: without agreement soon, nearly everybody takes a hit. a schoolteacher with two kids and a salary of $43,000, for example, will face a tax hike of more than $3,000. members of congress helped get us into this mess and they'll pay, too, with incomes of $174,000, they'll pay some $7,500 more in taxes. as for the super rich? well, consider basketball phenom lebron james. he makes about $53 million. could see his taxes go up by more than $2.4 million next year alone.
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and it's not just taxes. on january 1st, unemployment benefits expire for some 2 million people. >> we're joins here in new york by jon karl. chief white house correspondent, like the ring to it with your name. a lot of people are watching, saying, stop messing around in washington. that's a lot of tax money at stake here. >> reporter: and this would be the first big tax hike we've seen in more than 20 years, david. there's a lot of talk about a potential meeting at the white house. the president came all the way back from hawaii, cut short the vacation, left the family back. no meeting scheduled yet but i would expect you will see congressional leaders sometime over the next 24, 36 hours, come to the white house one last ditch effort to at least stop these tax hikes from going into effect and extend the unemployment benefits. butguarantee. >> and some speculation that meeting could be tomorrow. >> reporter: yes. >> we'll see. jon, thank you. the clock is ticking. two more important political notes we're following tonight. former president george bush remains in a hospital in house gone for what a spokesman
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describes as a series of setbacks. he is said to be in guarded condition in intensive care, nursing an elevated fever. he is currently on a liquids only diet after being treated for a lingering bronchitis-related koug. and there is late word today that secretary of state hillary clinton will be back at work next week. mrs. clinton has been recovering at home from aen concussion. an aide tells us she's looking forward to resuming her schedule. we're going to turn this evening now to the nation's increasingly divisive gun control debate, just a day after we showed you this scene in los angeles. people lining up in their cars to participate in a one-day gun buy-back program. that etch fort brought in more than 2,000 firearms in exchange for gift certificates. but barely two weeks after the newtown, connecticut, school shootings, another debate heating up about whether to bring guns into schools. a new poll suggests 64% of americans think arming at least one school official would be at
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least some what effective. but what about arming the teachers? abc's cecilia vega tonight with some of those teachers who say yes. >> okay, so, now what do i do? >> reporter: the gun is fake, but these utah teachers fear the threat facing their classrooms is very real. today, 200 of those teachers became students -- >> ready to fire. >> reporter: packing a conference room on their holiday break to learn how to carry a concealed weapon on the job. and how to protect their schools from an armed intruder. >> the safety is the biggest part. and to be able to use them appropriately is really quite a high priority for me. >> reporter: utah is one of few states where public schools allow guns on campus. but in the wake of the shooting at sandy hook, the push is on to add more states to that list. arizona's attorney general wants every school principal or the principal's designee armed. in ohio, applications at one shooting course for teachers are up 20%. some gun advocates say arming teachers is a lot like arming
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airline pilots, simply knowing that someone on campus might be carrying a gun could be enough to stop the bad guys. in 1997, an armed high school vice principal in mississippi did manage to stop a 16-year-old shooter on a rampage. but there was also columbine. 15 people died and the armed security officer on campus and another one nearby could not stop it. >> the nra's blanket call to arm our schools is really nothing more than a distraction. >> reporter: some teachers in utah say they want more gun training. and organizers are already plank another class for the next holiday break. >> i can go up and over. >> reporter: cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. >> our thanks to cecilia tonight. we turn now to made in america tonight and to a hopeful headline from ford tonight. in fact, the automaker announcing an ambitious investment plan, to create more than 2,300 new jobs.
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that's great news. and speaking of made in america, after our month-long made in america christmas challenge, tonight, the big reveal here. we're inside factories big and small tonight, saying thank you, for the joy and the jobs you helped create. >> merry christmas. >> reporter: it was the made in america christmas challenge. you see the christmas lights are up. people across the country, even the mall of america. inside, santa takes those requests. david muir with "world news." how are you? >> oh, good. >> reporter: i'm just curious. of the kids sitting on santa's lap, how much what they're asking for is made in america? >> oh, oh. i guess -- ah -- i guess -- i guess -- >> reporter: you'll remember, even the elf was stumped, telling us he couldn't answer those kinds of questions. if you look closely, we guaranteed you could find made in america. just one thing, $64, creates 200,000 jobs, say economists. and it turns out, you found it. viewers like kerry, from iowa. >> you have to see. >> reporter: new plates and that
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couch. >> proudly made in america. >> reporter: the grand total "world news" viewers, pledging more than $1 million of made in america gifts this year. the neighbors waving outside st. louis, missouri, that sign welcomed made in america. >> come in. >> reporter: thank you. >> arianna russell, making protective cases for the iphone. her own made in america ads on youtube. a little humor. bull when we asked why she's determined to make it in america? >> to -- that's so weird. why i am crying? >> reporter: she said, simply, her father is a veteran. and when you heard that, you bought 4,121 iphone cases. her biggest month ever. she's hiring five new workers ever. >> thank you, "world news"! >> reporter: then, the viewers determined to find american-made toys. showing us kinex. the company saying more than 7 million boxes sold. >> made in america! >> reporter: entire towns joining in. vermont, that town hall cheer.
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>> you bet we're in! >> reporter: and they've hired five new workers tonight. at spooner boards in california, they're spinning, all right. after our first report on the company, five new employees. their riding the v what. >> made in america! >> reporter: and you'll remember who we found in her dressing room. hey, whoopi. merry christmas. >> you guys are great. your sh >> reporter: it turns out, in minnesota, whoopi wasn't the only customer. sales doubled since last year. 80 additional people since our last report? >> yes. >> reporter: and this message from the mill. >> thank you, "world news"! >> reporter: and remember the american-made wrench, the inventor who hoped to sell at sears again this christmas? no new order from them, but we traveled to the assembly line. this is just one of the wrenches that was packaged, ready to go to sears. they are unpackaging all of them, paula ripping it out of
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the container. they are repackaging them and trying to send them to other retailers, hoping they can sell them for the holiday. >> reporter: forget the retailers, enter "world news" viewers. tonight, 8,000 wrenches sold. and finally, those hoodies. from american giant in san francisco. telling us tonight, they are sold out of everything. hiring 1 new employees right now, as we zip up our made in america christmas. >> made in america! >> and all of it because of you at home. we'll continue it in the new year. and there is still much more ahead on "world news" this thursday night. the world leader suddenly stopping children from coming to america. including this little girl, with her american mom and dad, who were ready for her to come here. why were the children stopped at this 11th hour?
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the little girl who is already learning to count in english. and tells her mommy that she loves her. >> i love you. >> i love you, too. >> reporter: kendra and her husband last saw paulina just a few days ago on a visit to her orphanage outside moscow. now, with the love only a mother could feel, she worries what will happen to her daughter. >> i can't help her, i can't tell her that i love her. so -- it's really hard. >> reporter: americans have adopted over 60,000 russian children since the fall of the soviet union. but russian officials have pointed to the cases of 19 children who died after being adopted by americans. and in 2010, russia erupted in fury after a 7-year-old boy named artem was sent back to russia alone by his american adoptive mother, carrying a note saying he'd become too difficult to handle. but children's rights advocates say this new ban is playing politics with the lives of children.
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now, with no way of contacting her, she wishes she could send her daughter a simple message. >> i would tell her that we love her and to be strong and that we're going to do everything we can to come back and get her. >> reporter: but at the end of their last visit, it was paulina trying to comfort her mother. >> i was crying and telling her good-bye and she said, don't cry, mommy, be strong. >> reporter: and david, this is a scene that's playing out in literally hundreds of moments across america tonight. families that thought they would be welcoming home a child but are now wondering if they will ever get to see that child again. david? >> such heartbreak for those american parents back here. kirit, thank you. and still ahead here on "world news," the song, back in the news tonight. ♪ come on baby and rescue me >> you know the song, but can you name that singer tonight? as we remember her. she's still the one for you - you know it even after all these years.
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aisle and giving her away to her new husband, ned rockinroll. and that 1965 song, "rescue me." ♪ come on baby and rescue me >> tonight, we are remembering the soul singer whose name you might not remember, but she was the writer and the first singer to make that song a huge hit. gofontella bass has died at 72. arena franklin giving the song new life much later. the "instant index" here on a thursday night. when we come back here on the broadcast, check this out. this kicker, watch. he lands the football right there in the basket. then he lands it right in a moving boat. perhaps he should get in the boat and come to america. he's being invited by one nfl team tonight. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer
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finally tonight here, the athlete kicking his way into homes across america, because of his extraordinary feats in this video. even capturing the attention of an nfl team that just might be asking him to come to america. here's abc's nick watt now. >> reporter: havard rugland has never actually played football, but he can do this. and this. with a pigskin. a life-long soccer player with a killer left root, rugland bought his first football last year when his soccer team disbanded. >> it was either find a new team or find a new hobby and that's when i started kicking. >> reporter: and made this youtube video. that's his brother, catching from the sunroof of a moving car. he admits some kicks did take multiple attempts. hundreds of thousands of hits later, an e-mail arrived from the new york jets, inviting this norwegian novice to try out for the team. did you ever think it would lead to this?
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>> no. never. it was more like a thing to do for myself and my dog. >> reporter: rugland's training and trial went well. he can nail field goals from 57, 58 yards. >> he's got ability, but you don't know what you have until you're in a crucial situation. >> reporter: the jets have asked him back for another look. and who wouldn't want a kicker who can do this. and this. nick watt, abc news, los angeles. >> so much fun to watch today. that is the broadcast for tonight. "gma" first thing in the morning. for diane and all of us, good night.
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